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CES'2005 Show Reports

Click here for our CES'2005 Picture Gallery

The Absolute Sound

Seen and heard making some of the best sounds at the show (in the GTT Audio room with the Kharma Midi-Exquisite speaker and CeSb 1.- subwoofer, and LAMM L2 Reference preamp, LP2 Reference phonostage, and ML2.1 monoblocks) was the top Kuzma combo.
                                                            Wayne Garcia

[The Absolute Sound, issue 153 April/May 2005, page 28]

The Wilson MAXX Series 2 ($45,000)...was being demonstrated in no fewer than three rooms, powered by Audio Research electronics...in one room, by VTL electronics... in another, and Lamm electronics (including the L2 preamp and ML2.1 monoblocks) in a third.  Though the ARC room boasted the enticing Ref 3 and the VTL room had the superior source..., I was most impressed with the Lamm exhibit.  Those of you unfamiliar with Vladimir Lamm's expensive, hand-made, jewelry-like electronics may be in clined to dismiss it as boutique gear.  This would be a grave mistake, since the Lamms combine detail, power, beauty, and finesse in equal measures.  To my ear, they humanized the Wilson's big, powerful sound, adding incredible delicacy, transparency, and transient accuracy to the mix.                                                              Jonathan Valin

[The Absolute Sound, issue 153 April/May 2005, page 56]

Next comes the Kubala Sosna room, this one equipped with my former reference loudspeaker, the Kharma Reference Monitor 3.2 ($21,000/pr) mated to the new Kharma CeSb 1.0 powered subwoofer ($8500), Lamm's hybrid M1.2 Reference amplifiers ($19,990/pr) and superb L2 preamp ($14,390), EMM Labs' CDSD transport ($7900) and DCC2 two-channel DAC ($11,500) and Kubala Sosna's cables and interconnects...This was one of the four best sounds I heard at the show.                                                            Jonathan Valin

[The Absolute Sound, issue 153 April/May 2005, page 58]

On Sunday, I heard the two other best sounds of th e show, and they couldn't have been more different.  One was my current reference, the $83,500 Kharma Midi-Exquisite four-way dynamic loudspeaker and Kharma CeSb 1.0 subwoofer, driven by Lamm's L2 Reference preamp, LP2 phonostage, and ML2.1 monoblocks...                                                              Jonathan Valin

[The Absolute Sound, issue 153 April/May 2005, page 60]

 

AVGuide.com

The Wilson MAXX Series 2 ($45,000/pair)—a beautiful-looking three-way that, in the Series 2 iteration, uses (and, in some instances, is said to improve upon) the technologies brought to market in Wilson’s top-of-the-line Alexandria loudspeaker—was being demo’d in no less than three rooms, powered by Audio Research electronics (including ARC’s new Reference 3 preamp and Reference 300 MKII monoblock amplifiers) in one suite, by VTL electronics (including the 7.5 preamp and Siegfried monoblocks) in another, and by Lamm electronics (including the L2 preamp and ML2.1 monoblocks) in a third. Though the ARC room boasted the enticing Ref 3 and the VTL room had the superior source (Luke Manley was using Peter McGrath mastertapes, played back through a Nagra D deck), I was most impressed with the Lamm exhibit. Those of you unfamiliar with Vladimir Lamm’s expensive, handmade, jewelry-like electronics may be inclined to dismiss it as boutique gear. This would be a grave mistake, since the Lamms combine detail, power, beauty, and finesse in equal measures. To my ear, they humanized the Wilson’s big, powerful sound, adding incredible delicacy, transparency, and transient accuracy to the mix.
 
Next comes the Kubala Sosna room, this one equipped with my former reference loudspeakers, the Kharma Reference Monitor 3.2s ($21,000) mated to the new Kharma CeSb 1.0 powered subwoofer ($8500), and Lamm’s hybrid M1.2 Reference amplifiers ($19,990), the superb Lamm L2 preamp ($14,390), the EMM Labs CDSD transport ($7900) and DCC2 two-channel DAC ($11,500), and Kabala Sosna’s cables and interconnects. There is a reason why I’ve used Kharma RM3.2s as my references for better than two years (and Wayne Garcia currently uses them as his). Their sound is a magical combination of octave-to-octave tonal balance, single-driver coherence (even with the subwoofer in), incredible low-level resolution, small-scale and large-scale dynamic finesse, and phenomenal soundstaging. This was one of the four best sounds I heard at the show.
 
CES'2005 report by Jonathan  Valin

http://www.avguide.com/inthenews/CES_2005/speakers_above_10k.jsp

Seen and heard making some of the best sounds at the show (in the GTT Audio room with the Kharma Midi-Exquisite speaker and Kharma CeSb 1.0 subwoofer, Lamm L2 Reference preamp, LP2 Reference phonostage, and ML2.1 monoblocks) was the top Kuzma combo (mounted with the $2700 Shelter 90X cartridge that is also my current reference). The massive platform for the arm is made of brass and different boards can be swapped out for the arm of you choice. VTA adjustment can be made during playback without any apparent loss in rigidity or azimuth, and a micrometer gives a digital readout for exact and repeatable adjustments. Moreover, there’s a lever on the side of the tower that allows for three positions—“normal,” a setting for thin records, and a higher one for thicker (180-200 grams) records.
 
CES'2005 report by Wayne Garcia
 

 

www.ixbt.com

Kubala-Sosna

Сунув свой любопытный нос в одну из дверей, куда только что зашли подряд несколько человек, я получил предупреждение от менеджера — или оставайтесь или уходите. Поскольку в комнате находилось около 20 человек, стало интересно — а что это они там все делают — и решено было остаться. Оказалось — не зря, я попал на презентацию живой легенды среди звукорежиссеров — Стива Хоффмана. Не буду рассказавать о его работах, есть линк, но качество звучания просто удивило — пожалуй, лучшее, что я слышал на выставке, хотя были и другие мнения.

В качестве референсных аппаратов использовались УМ Lamm 1.2, референсные мониторы Kharma 3.2 с сабвуфером этой же фирмы Ceramique (видны на снимке), а также в качестве источников EMM Labs CDSD транспорт, DCC2 ЦАП, и в как предусилитель Lamm L2 с блоком питания. Я записал все выступление господина Хоффмана на пленку, а в конце, когда какой-то профессиональный фотограф собрал владельцев фирмы Kubala-Sosna (качественные провода) вместе со Стивом Хоффманом в центре комнаты, пристроился фотографировать рядом с ним. На что Стив пошутил — "no paparazzi". Я, естественно, пропустил данную реплику мимо ушей, хотя кроме меня и приглашенного официально фотографа в комнате никто не собирался снимать, и успел сделать пару снимков — тем более что никто не прогонял и камеру отнять не пытался. В итоге господин Хоффман дал мне откуда-то из кладовки свою визитку, которые официально у него уже закончились... я воспринял этот жест только как факт уважения к iXBT! Что важно и нужно отметить — системы саб+сателлиты уже пришли в самый высокий High-End, причем даже выбираются для презентаций такими профессиональными художниками звука, как Стив Хоффман.

Translation by Lamm:

Out of curiosity, I peaked through one of the doors right after a few people had just walked in, and immediately got a warning from a manager – stay or go.  Since there were about 20 people in the room, I wanted to know what they were all doing in there, and stayed.  Turned out, it was a presentation by a living legend among the recording engineers, Steve Hoffman.  I won’t talk about his work (you can study it at this link) but the sound quality was surprising – perhaps, the best I’ve heard at the show although there were other opinions about that.

The reference equipment used in the room were: Lamm M1.2 Ref. amplifiers, Kharma 3.2 with a subwoofer (on the picture), EMM Labs CDSD transport, DCC2 converter, Lamm L2 Ref. preamp with a separate power supply.  I recorded the entire presentation of Mr. Hoffman's on video, and at the end when a professional photographer gathered the owners of Kubala-Sosna (manufacturers of quality cable) along with Steve Hoffman in the center of the room, I tried to get into the picture as well.  Steve made a joke  -- “no paparazzi”.  I let the remark slip by as there was no one in the room (apart from the professional photographer and myself) who would be taking any pictures, so I managed to get a couple of shots especially because nobody was throwing me out and taking away my camera!  As a result, Mr. Hoffman gave me his business card – I took this as a gesture of respect for iXBT!  It’s important to note that subwoofers have already made their way into the “highest” high-end, and are chosen for presentation by such professionals of sound as Steve Hoffman.

 

Lamm Industries

Давняя мечта поговорить с Владимиром Шушуриным (Ламм) наконец-то исполнилась. Конечно, взгляды наши не совсем совпадали, как и "весовые категории" — имеются в виду уникальные достижения Владимира в области High-End звука.

Симптоматично, что на прошлой CES было много референсных УМ Pass Labs, а на этой, как будто бы вместо них — в качестве референсных были установлены УМ Lamm. Сегодня электроника Шушурина - признанный мировой стандарт в качестве звука, и путь, которым пришел к своему всемирному признанию еще вчера такой же "самоделкин" с советской территории, как многие из присутствующих на форумах, не был "выложен розами". "Самоделкин" — не в смысле профессионализма, а в хорошем смысле возможностей и желания все сделать своими руками - лучше, чем это может быть сделано на промышленной основе.

Очень интересное интервью обязательно будет опубликовано в этом году, ну а пока — референсная система от Lamm Industries Inc. Акустика — знаменитые Wilson Maxx 2 весом более 500 килограммов, которые, по мнению репортера журнала The Perfect Vision Jonatan Valin, лучше всего звучали на CES именно в презентации Lamm. К сожалению, я персонально не могу оценить это мнение, поскольку не слушал акустику Wilson в комплектах Audio Research и VTL. В любом случае — браво и так держать, Lamm Industries!

Translation by Lamm:

My long-standing dream to talk to Vladimir Shushurin (Lamm) has finally come true.  Naturally, our views, as well as our "weight categories", didn't quite coincide -- I mean Vladimir's unique achievements in the area of hi-end sound.

It's telling that at the last CES a lot of Pass Labs power amps were used as a reference, whereas at this CES -- almost as if instead of them -- the reference amps were from Lamm.  Today, Lamm electronics is an accepted world standard of the reproduced sound quality, but he travelled a difficult road to the world recognition he'd got today.

We'll publish an interview with him at some point this year.  As to his system at the show -- the speakers were famous Wilson Audio Maxx 2s weighing more than 500 kgs, which (in the opinion of Jonathan Valin) sounded their best at the CES with Lamm electronics.  Unfortunately, I didn't have a chance to personally confirm this as I didn't hear the Wilsons together with Audio Research and VTL.  In any case, keep doing what you are doing, Lamm! 

http://www.ixbt.com/dvd/ces2005-2.shtml

 

PositiveFeedback.com

From Joule Electra I wandered on to the Lamm room. Didn't get to meet any of the Lammskys, but did get to see a very good room.

Jud Barber does the 6C33C tubes one way; Lamm goes a different direction. A fresco of the understated Lamm ML2.1 heating up some electrons.

Lamm ML2.1 dreamscape by yours truly; tubes do have an irresistible beauty.

CES'2005 Show Report by David W. Robinson

http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue18/ces05dr2a.htm

 

www.highendpalace.com

The LAMM and Wilson Audio suite.

http://www.highendpalace.com/2005%20CES%20show%20in%20Las%20Vegas.htm